Battling Inertia

Do you ever know you have to do something, but there is so much to do that you get overwhelmed and don’t end up doing anything? This can happen with anything from weight loss to car repair to house cleaning to improving your art or other skills to saving for retirement. But it can be conquered.

The secret is to break everything up into manageable tasks. This has three main advantages. It makes the job seem easier and also helps if time and funds are limited. It also builds your confidence as you do each task. Also, if you give up in the middle of the process, you can at least get some things done!

Here are some examples of how I’ve broken up tough jobs.

My apartment is a mess. Instead of trying to do it all in a week, and getting exhausted, I’ve taken it in stages. I try to clean something each weekend, and tidy up after myself as I go along. So it’s one closet one weekend, another closet the next, shelving unit next, sink next, bathroom sink next, and so on. I get a cleaner apartment but I have time left over for other stuff.

Same with the car. New wipers one trip out, oil change another, vacuuming the interior and airing up the tires anther day, and so on.

It can even work for savings plans. Set a small sum to save every paycheck, pay off small debts, work at it little by little. Small efforts, kept to consistently, do a lot more than big efforts attempted rarely.

And finally, it can work for improving your skills.  Just take it one bit at a time.  For example, art.  You might say “I will draw one picture every day even if it’s just a sketch, and on the weekend I’ll do a project that focuses on my wobbly lines so I have a chance to practice smoother ones.”  It’s so much less daunting than the monolithic “I will improve my art.”

So you’re more likely to do it and break out of that inertia!

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